Celebs lend a hand at Victoria Park

Celebrities descended on Victoria Park to lead an army of volunteers to transform a derelict building and yard into a community garden and classroom to enable school children to learn about ecology.

Pop duo Jedward joined ex-Eastenders stars Nicola Stapleton and Joe Swash; Melinda Messenger and Cowboy Builders’ handyman John Russell for the P&G Capital Clean Up on June 9.

The television stars and volunteers spent more than eight hours getting their hands dirty; clearing weeds, removing debris, painting the fences and planting flowers in the park.

New tarmac was laid down and a mural of urban art was created and installed on the front of the old storage sheds. One of the garages in the yard was transformed to an indoor facility where the children can store their belongings and clean up as sinks were installed.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman said: “I am delighted with the outcome of the Capital Clean Up and would like to thank everyone who took part. The new community area will benefit our users and young people for years to come and is a welcome addition to Victoria Park. Improving our parks and open spaces is a priority for me.”

Dave Hime, Victoria Park Development Officer who helped organise the event said: “This was a very challenging day but the team of volunteers and the celebrities pulled out all the stops to achieve a fantastic end result.

It was overwhelming to see how everyone worked so hard together to turn this old derelict area of the park into a place that will be well used by the community as a whole.”

The clean-up was part of the P&G Capital Clean Up, a three month programme run in partnership with The Greater London Authority with the aim of helping London look its best for the London 2012 Olympic Games and beyond.

Cllr Shahed Ali, lead member for environment added: “Victoria Park is a great community park which provides a range of resources for residents to take advantage of. I look forward to the new area being well used.”

The clean up will be aired on Channel 5 on Saturday evening, June 23.

June 21, 2012